As featured in Essential Magazine, Marbella, Spain. June 2012

We’ve all wished at some point, that there were more hours in a day or more pounds in the bank. The bad news is even if that wish came true it’s likely that you would ‘need’ more soon after. The great news is that you’re not alone, and are about to receive some easy tips that will help you use your money and time more effectively. So whether you’re a business owner or a full time parent, I challenge you to try at least one of these tips and take what works best for you.

Don’t get mad if you lose money, because you can always get it back.Be more precious with your time, because you can’t get time back once it’s gone.

  • Essential Magazine Article June 2012Allocate 20-minutes (max) at the start of each week to plan and prioritize your actions into 2 categories ‘what I need to do’ and ‘what I’d love to do’. This focused power planning time, will help you avoid hours of time wasting. Also when unexpected issues crop up you can make an instant decision on where to focus your energy and limited time.
  • Become aware of what distracts you. For 1 week, at the end of the day, spend 5 minutes logging what the main distractions were. What takes ou off target?, where do you get lost in time?, what tasks are you avoiding. Don’t judge what you find – just notice it
  • Allocate strict start and end times for each task. Put an alarm for tasks that you know you’re likely to get carried away with.
  • Allocate 2 timed slots in a day for dealing with emails (the exception being urgent emails). Letting your colleagues know these times will also manage their expectations and encourage them to speak to you directly for small queries. It’s really important to notice when your spending all your time just replying to mounting emails and ask yourself is this the best use of your time?
  • If you’re constantly finding others distract you with their needs, try politely asking ‘is it urgent?’, if not, give them another time to come back to you. You can reassure them that you’ll be able to give your full attention if they give you more notice. Remember, most people are not mind readers so you need to be clear about when is and is not a good time for you.
  • Allocate one 20 minute ‘fun / me time’ breaks each day – this is your unrestricted time to do what ever you class as a fun – from Facebook chatting, to shopping on Ebay, meeting for coffee with a friend, going for a walk or reading a book? Scientists have proved having fun reduces stress, recharges our energy levels which allows us to stay focused for longer.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish to go but it cannot replace the driver.” Ayn Rand

  • A price tag is an invitation to practice your negotiation/haggling skills. Contrary to popular belief haggling doesn’t need to be aggressive, it can be fun and you can try it in most places. So I challenge you to get creative with haggling on your next shopping trip. Try flirting with the sales assistant, ask for a discount when buying more than one item or try the straight up approach and say ‘I love this product/service but it’s out of my price range. What’s the best price you can do?’ The worst outcome is you’ll get is a ‘No’
  • Money’s purpose is to gain things you want and need, right? So try eliminating money from the equation altogether and swap your skills, time, resources with other people. Otherwise known as bartering, it’s a fantastic way to build relationships, refine your skills and achieve what you need, without spending a penny.
  • Find people from your networks to borrow or hire from, especially if you need the item for a short time.
  • Try to repair what’s broken before dumping it for a new shiny one.
  • If your heart’s set on something that costs a substantial amount curb the desire to impulse buy by opening a separate bank account and save small amounts each week. One of two things will happen a. you’ll cherish the item or service more because you’ve saved for it or b. you will realize you don’t want it as much as you thought. Plus you’ll have some cash saved.

 

Your Take Away…

I’d love to hear your feedback after trying these tips – what did and did not work for you? What other tips do you have to share to be more resourceful with your time and money